On the south coast of Fiji’s second largest island, Vanua Levu, is a paradise called Savusavu. If you’re searching for where to go in Fiji, Savusavu should top your list – known as “Fiji’s best kept secret”, Savusavu is home to a protected bay, incredible scuba diving, culture, art, and dolphin watching, as well as endless other activities. Of course, you don’t necessarily need activities to enjoy Savusavu. The beauty and charm of this beautiful town will keep you more than entertained all on its own. No matter how you choose to spend your time here, adventure and relaxation await you in Savusavu, a beautiful tropical hideaway.
At one time, Savusavu Bay was a large volcano, and the private bay is now the only entry point for yachts on the island of Vanua Levu. While Savusavu is now Vanua Levu’s main tourist attraction, it was, in the past, a colonial outpost and haven for sailors from around the world. The center of town still has this amiable old-timey sailor’s charm, but you don’t have to go far for a luxurious experience.
Savusavu is home to many different kinds of accommodations. For guests looking for an incomparable experience, a stay at a luxury resort nestled within the rainforest and still directly on a private beach is hard to beat. Guests can relax and enjoy their privacy, as well as unfettered access to all the beauty and pursuits Savusavu has to offer. If ever there was a way to experience Fiji, this is it.
Visitors in this hidden paradise of Savusavu can enjoy a myriad of activities. Nature lovers can dive or snorkel among the beautiful reefs at Namena Marine Reserve or Split Rock, where you may even see local sharks. You can also go horseback riding on the beach, walk through the rainforest, watch dolphins frolicking in Natewa Bay, or visit any of the stunning waterfalls on the island. For those looking to relax and unwind, the volcanic hot springs along the shore of Savusavu are unforgettable and offer warm, therapeutic waters right on the ocean shore. There is also a 9-hole golf course, hand line fishing, and freshwater swimming pools to enjoy. Interested in treasure hunting? A trip to the J. Hunter Pearl Farm allows you to see how pearls are created. You can see the oysters firsthand from within a glass-bottomed boat or by snorkeling right in the waters of the pearl farm. Of course, you can purchase pearls and pearl jewelry right in the showroom as well.
If you’re arriving in Savusavu by boat, the Copra Shed Marina can take care of your vessel as you explore the offerings on land. Built in the 19th century, the marina provides moorings for vessels of varying sizes, including space for up to a 36-meter yacht. Fuel and water are available for your ship, as well as repair and maintenance, should you need it. Once you’re on land, consider visiting the Savarekareka Mission, one of the oldest structures in the area. Located just seven miles north of Savusavu town and still operational, Savarekareka Mission was built in about 1870 and was the first Catholic mission in Vanua Levu. Whether you explore by land or by sea, the history and stories of Savusavu and its people will keep you enchanted throughout your travels.
After a long day of sun and exploration, you may find that you need some extra pampering and attention. A trip to the Spa & Sanctuary will provide treatments to soothe both your body and your soul. You’ll experience immediate relaxation among sweeping views of the magnificent surrounding rainforest and Koro Sea while indulging in treatments that will truly allow you to sink into the pleasures of paradise.
If you want to spend some time among the locals, head into town to the bustling farmer’s market for some local fruit, or pop into one of the unique shops scattered along the streets. Step into one of the bars or restaurants along the main road to sample some local cuisine, where you’re likely to meet a diverse range of Fijians and travelers from around the world. Savusavu town is an eclectic mix of worldly wanderers and enchanting locals, all of whom will welcome you into their ranks. You may even be offered the national drink—yaqona, or kava—as a sign of welcome and respect. This mildly narcotic drink may not be a flavor you’re used to, but you’ll experience a sense of relaxation that may lead you to understand exactly why people return to Fiji—and Savusavu, in particular—again and again.
Savusavu also has a reputation for drawing visitors in and keeping them for some time. For visitors from most countries, a four-month visa is granted automatically once you arrive here, so as long as you’ve brought a passport valid for at least six months beyond your arrival, you won’t be required to leave any time soon. You’ll quickly recognize why some folks stick around as long as possible.
There are few places in the world quite as beautiful and captivating as Savusavu town. Though it is small and somewhat tucked away, here you will experience a new world of tropical bliss. Give yourself the gift of a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Savusavu, and you’ll see why people rave about this paradise.
Photo courtesy of Savusavu Tourism Association